News broke over the weekend that Toys 'R' Us was planning to close some of its stores.
Now the retail giant has confirmed at least 26 shops will be axed, putting some 800 jobs at risk. But its branch on Chester's Greyhound Park has escaped the nationwide cull – for now.
The firm says it has no plans to close the site but admitted changes were required to secure its long-term future. The options of downsizing or securing a rent reduction on the current premises will be explored in the coming months.
The branch on Broughton Shopping Park is safe.
The toy chain has cited its larger warehouse-style stores which are 'too big and expensive to run' as the motivation for downsizing.
The announcement comes two and a half months after Toys 'R' Us filed for bankruptcy protection in the USA and Canada, but there was no suggestion at the time that the move would impact on UK stores.
Steve Knights, of Toys 'R' Us UK, said: "All of our stores across the UK remain open for business as normal through Christmas and well into the New Year. Customers can also continue to shop online and there will be no changes to our returns policies or gift cards across this period.
"Our newer, smaller, more interactive stores are in the right shopping locations and are trading well, while our new website has generated significant growth in online and click-and-collect sales.
"But the warehouse style stores we opened in the 1980s and 1990s, while successful in the early days, are too big and expensive to run in the current retail environment. The business has been loss making in recent years and so we need to take strong and decisive action to accelerate the transformation."
These are the affected locations:
- Belfast, Newtownabbey
- Birmingham, St Andrews
- Derry City
- East Kilbride
- Old Kent Road
- Tunbridge Wells
- Manchester, Central Retail Park